Before you try to understand the hows and whys of Halal Dating, bring God into the equation. Unless you ask them what actually happens, they won't tell you. And since you are still reading, I'll explain as best I can.

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Indians worldwide are familiar with arranged marriages, and European royalty had arranged inter-nobility marriages until the early part of the twentieth century.

And of course, we've all seen aunties (matchmakers), online matrimonial sites (e.g.

shaadi.com, and muslimatcher.com) and matrimonial events (like speed dating and networking events where the goal is a life mate, not a date).

We are asked to develop, preserve and protect them over the course of our lives, and the way for a man and a woman to have free access to each other is through the commitment of marriage.

Despite My Mother's Edict To Me When I Was 10, I Date My first date was after graduate school, and most of my dates were through the formal means mentioned above.

I have only ever gone on dates with Muslims because I am committed to marrying a Muslim.

My parents have since changed their minds about dating and are supportive of me.

If you think this sounds like dating — well, yes, it does.

The big difference is that while most non-Muslims just want to meet a special someone and that meeting result in marriage, the only goal of arranged meetings for conservative Muslims is marriage. However, like many of my South Asian Muslim friends' parents, they're particular about the practice of their religion.